Saturday, January 08, 2005

Wither the UN?

Congrats are in order to Australia, who has done a bang up job with the aid efforts in the Tsunami relief. They're now doing a $1 Billion aid package to the embattled region, and Prime Minister Howard has this to say, as reported in the Herald Sun:(,5478,11880264^662,00.html) (thanks to Tim Blair's blog, for the info)

$1 billion will not be wasted
Ian McPhedranJason Frenkel
AUSTRALIA'S $1 billion aid package to Indonesia would not be wasted through
aid agency incompetence, John Howard last night vowed.Arriving home from the
Jakarta tsunami summit, Mr Howard described the package as a defining moment in the history of Australia-Indon relations. The Indonesian death toll yesterday
jumped 20,000 to more than 113,000. United Nations Secretary-General Kofi
Annan toured the devastated province of Aceh as the world body took charge of
the global relief operation for the disaster that left over 165,000 dead. But Mr
Howard said he was determined there would be no UN involvement in Australia's
massive package to Indonesia. "There's not always the view that money that goes
through international agencies necessarily gets well spent," he said. Six
Australian officials will sit on a joint commission with Indonesia to distribute
the money. The PM said he realised within hours of the Boxing Day disaster that
Australia's response would have to be unprecedented. "I was determined that it would be big. One billion dollars seemed to be an appropriate amount of money," he said.


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